NYC, 3/13/2018

Austrian-born and NYC-based singer, songwriter, electric violinist Rose Bartu releases her Freedom Video – an anthem for freedom, justice and human rights for all – 80 years and one day after Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria

Rose Bartu, Austrian-raised and NYC-based singer/songwriter and electric violinist, now a dual citizen, is releasing her video “Freedom” from her upcoming EP with footage of the 1. Women’s March in NYC on March 13th, 2018 – an anthem for freedom, justice and human rights for all – in time for Women’s History Month and 80 years and one day after Hitler’s Anschluss of her home country Austria. The “Freedom” video is directed by Mazi O. and features two young actors, Charlotte Ratel and Nicholas Jenkins. The independently released single garnered over 210,000 plays on Spotify since its release on August 28th, 2017, the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

She started writing the song on July 4, 2015 questioning freedom for all, when seeing acts of terrorism and hate being carried out across the USA. The message of the song grew to an universal call for peace and freedom: “When Trump got elected as the US president a lot of right-wing parties around the world got empowered. Since December 2017 the right-wing populist and national-conservative party in my home country Austria is part of the government. The head of the party, Heinz-Christian Strache, has met with General Michael Flynn ‘and other high-ranking US politicians’ (as he mentioned on his Facebook post) in 2016. He is the first European politician with a neo-Nazi background to sit in government since World War II. Both my parents were born in World War II and my dad is a war refugee.

With these concerning developments around the world I find it more important than ever to spread love and an empowering message while addressing systemic shifts we want to see. This year is also the 70-year anniversary of The Declaration of Human Rights. I want to take that as an opportunity to spread my commitment to contribute to a shift from economic power-driven corporate actions and wars, which destabilize the globe, to a peaceful, equitable and just world for all!

The song is produced by Grammy-nominated producer/mixer/engineer Steve Greenwell (Joss Stone, Diane Birch, Andy Grammer). Rose Bartu’s soulfully angelic vocals and lush violins with Greenwell’s strong hip-hop influenced beat create a colorful and intriguing musical landscape. It reminds listeners of legendary bands like Portishead and Massive Attack, and more recent artists like Haim and CHVRCHES.

Bartu’s songs often touch on social justice themes: Martin Luther King, Jr. was a big inspiration to Bartu when she graduated from high school specializing in African American History long before she thought of coming to New York City. Her “Building Bridges” song and film (featuring Mark Shine) was used by the mayor of Selma, Alabama for his re-election campaign.

Her song “One of Us” off of her self-produced Destiny album (under name Roswitha), which was accepted in 10 categories for a potential Grammy nomination and was released through her Pledgemusic crowd fundraising campaign on March 13, 2013, exactly five years prior, was written after Trayvon Martin’s killing in 2012. As the movement continues to end gun violence, she was asked to perform at a street naming after the fatal shooting of lawyer Carey Gabay, an aide to Governor Cuomo.

Rose Bartu, since she was a little girl growing up in a small village in the Austrian Alps, has had a dream of empowering people around the world with her music. Winning the prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship “to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas,” supported her dream to study in NYC and to become an ambassador of peace.

Click for Freedom on YouTube

More info:


Please contact Rose Bartu for questions and interviews at, +1 917 334 5862.

Click to read the Press Release Online

NYC, 1/16/2012

New York-Based, International Violinist and Singer-Songwriter Roswitha Completes the Central Park filming of her groundbreaking BUILDING BRIDGES video.

Aimed at fostering an intercultural dialogue about peace among all peoples, the video’s key partner is Hal Eisenberg of New York City youth nonprofit, Windows of Opportunity.

Pop, soul and world music violinist, producer and singer/songwriter Roswitha braced herself and her crew against sub-freezing temps to complete the mid-January 2012 filming of her BUILDING BRIDGES music video in Central Park.

A groundbreaking project undertaken with strategic partner Hal Eisenberg, executive director of Windows of Opportunity, Inc., a non-profit that trains youth leaders, Building Bridges fittingly “wrapped up shooting on Martin Luther King Day and is being released just in time for Black History Month. This is all about having a constructive conversation about race and history and how we can all share the work of creating a better world,” says Austria-born, New York-based Roswitha, the video’s creator, director, composer and song writer.

“This video involves the work and commitment of 40 people—over two whole days in the biting cold—who are passionate about the BUILDING BRIDGES mission. This isn’t just a song; it’s the backdrop of a bigger plan to create a bit of heaven right here on earth. Building Bridges is all about getting people from every background talking and sharing and caring,” says Roswitha, whose resume includes being featured violinist for Trey Songz’ spotlight on MTV Unplugged. She has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and in the movie “August Rush;” with her own band at The Blue Note, Knitting Factory and other celebrated venues; and on 18 studio album recordings. As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Roswitha has performed with the likes of John Legend, Santana, Gloria Estefan and Patti LaBelle.

The Building Bridges video is a particularly heartfelt and personal project, Roswitha says. It is part of a broader plan to spread her vision through her Building Bridges organization, a fledgling non-profit whose sole focus is fostering an intercultural, peace-generating dialogue about our entwined human concerns and interests.

That endeavor has gotten the backing of, among others, Hal Eisenberg, the video’s associate producer. “The first time I heard Building Bridges I felt like I was hearing the ‘We Are the World’ of today,” says Eisenberg, executive director of Windows of Opportunity, a New York City nonprofit that is, among other initiatives, using music to train youth leaders, artisans and entrepreneurs.

Eisenberg plays the male lead in the video. His co-star is Kimberly Tanksley, who does double duty as production coordinator. They portray an interracial couple bowing—temporarily—to societal taboos against love across lines of race. When they split up in 1998, she becomes a single parent. But, they get back together in 2012, defying the odds and rising above the imposed pressures. Their reconciliation is a lesson in love, forgiveness and pushing the borders of race and romance.

Some footage was shot during the actual MLK Day service at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, where Roswitha considers herself blessed to be in the Sacred Arts Ministry band. “I also wanted to convey how I build bridges in my own life.”

The video is the outgrowth of a partnership between Roswitha and Eisenberg, who met at United Global Shift training, which designs and facilitates programs and workshops for people engaged in initiatives aimed at creating a better, more equitable world.

That aspiration is embodied in the song, Building Bridges, co-written and co-produced by Roswitha aka Queen Rose, a classical- and jazz-trained violinist, and Mark Shine. It features rock reggae artist Shine’s vocals, layered over Roswitha’s lush string arrangements. It fuses Roswitha’s formidable European classical music background with America’s sizzling rock, soul and R&B sounds—culminating in a pop arrangement with an accessible, catchy, globally appealing lyrical hook.

That same artistry will yield the March 2013 release of Roswitha’s World Soul album “Destiny”. Partial proceeds from the “Destiny” album will be donated to Windows of Opportunity’s Music Leadership program, Rock Ur Heart Out, which is currently building a music studio for at-risk and under-served youth in Queens Village, New York.

The video can be viewed on Roswitha’s website and her YouTube channel.